Safe Drinking Venues

As our nation’s colleges and universities continue to wrestle with campus alcohol policy — either strictly enforcing Legal Age 21 or turning a blind eye (both options leading to dangerous, underground, and off-campus drinking) — it is refreshing to see productive steps being taken to produce a safer drinking climate on-campus. We applaud the University of Vermont’s efforts to create a campus pub, which will generate an environment where alcohol accompanies, rather than determines, the activity. While the majority of UVM’s students still fall below the age of 21 and would not be served liquor in such a venue, the university has nevertheless committed itself to cultivating a more sensible campus attitude towards alcohol.

Ideally, such a venue would accommodate all college students above the age of eighteen, as everyone would benefit from access to a space defined by moderate and sensible drinking. We therefore strongly disagree with the with the editorial comment made by the Burlington Free Press:

Lowering the drinking age to 18 is not the answer because in part it would make alcohol more easily accessible to high schoolers and because of the drinking-and-driving issue.

We are firmly committed to an 18-year old drinking age that exists within a greater program of cultural and educational change. In lowering the drinking age, our intent is not to increase the prevalence of alcohol in the lives of those below the age of majority. Widely-respected laws galvanize citizens to action, breed communal enforcement, and justify more severe penalties for individuals who choose to violate them. If we agree that 18-year old adults have the right to consume alcohol in a safe setting, then we can create necessary safeguards to prevent the transfer of alcohol to their younger peers.

One Response to “Safe Drinking Venues”

  1. Kasey Says:

    I just wanted to say that I really agree with this idea and think that Choose Responsibility is a wonderful organization. I’ve talked about you guys in my blog for class about lowering the drinking age. Keep fighting the good fight!